On Governance: What Does the Near Future Hold for Proxy Advisors?

The Conference Board’s list of predictions about the outcome of the SEC’s proxy roundtable hearing looks more like a wish list than anything grounded in probability, with the exception of the comments by the Conference Board’s own Doug Chia: Governance Center Executive Director, Doug Chia observed coming out of the SEC roundtable, “What seemed to…

SEC Should Leave Proxy Advisory Firms Alone – Bloomberg

The biggest problem with the idea that the proxy advisers need to be reined turns on the fallacy that they are all powerful, something critics repeat a lot. They are not. Just one example, according to a stat in the Wall Street Journal, is that last year proxy advisory firms urged shareholders to vote against approving…

How Funds View and Vote on Shareholder Proposals – Briefing: Governance

Ning Chiu of Davis Polk has some useful data on proxy advisors and fund votes, supporting the conclusion that clients appreciate the analysis of proxy advisory firms but make their own decisions about shareholder proposals: Funds must vote their proxies on behalf of 100 million shareholders in the aggregate and vote based on a range…

ProxyInsight Repudiates Report Claiming Undue Influence of Proxy Advisors

The CEOs behind the fake dark money front groups Main Street Investor Coalition and American Council on Capital Formation have produced a bogus study purporting to show “robo-votes” by professional money managers, alleging they blindly follow the recommendations of proxy advisory firms. Now, in an extraordinary statement, the provider of the data used for the…

Minerva Analytics: Comment on SEC Proxy Roundtable

From Minerva Analytics’ comment to the SEC for the Proxy Roundtable (link to the full comment below): We note the activities of the immensely vocal, but narrow, anti-ESG and governance lobby which continues to ignore and disrespect the beliefs and preferences of capital providers. Investors use governance research and vote execution services to legitimately help…

ISS Comment Letter to the SEC on the Proxy Process

ISS has filed its comment letter for the Proxy Roundtable with the SEC. Some highlights: They respond to those who claim that proxy advisors are not regulated and those who claim they control the proxy voting decisions of their clients: “As a registered investment adviser, we have a fiduciary obligation to our clients to provide…